Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research]]> vol. 86 num. 1 lang. <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>The haematological, proinflammatory cytokines and IgG changes during an ovine experimental theileriosis</b>]]> Malignant ovine theileriosis is caused by Theileria lestoquardi, which is highly pathogenic in sheep. Theileriosis involves different organs in ruminants. Little is known about the role of proinflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of T. lestoquardi infection. The aim of this study was to measure concentration changes of proinflammatory cytokines and immunoglobulin G (IgG) during an ovine experimental theileriosis and correlate it with clinical and haematological parameters. During an experimental study, seven healthy Baluchi sheep (four females and three males) about 6-8 months old were infected with T. lestoquardi by feeding of infected unfed ticks on the sheep's ears. The infected sheep were clinically examined during the study and blood samples were collected on days 0, 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, 14, 17 and 21. The haematological parameters were analysed by an automatic veterinary haematology cell counter and the inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and IgG were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. All infected sheep had temperatures above 40 °C on days 3-4 post infection (PI). The maximum temperature was noted on day 7, and it remained high until day 21. The parasitaemia of T. lestoquardi infection increased from 0.01% (day 7 PI) to 3.3% (day 21 PI). The mean white blood cell (WBC), red blood cell (RBC), lymphocyte, neutrophil and platelet values slightly increased on day 2 PI and decreased by day 17 and day 21 PI. The percentage parasitaemia and fever had a negative correlation with the numbers of WBCs, RBCs, lymphocytes, neutrophils and platelets. The serum concentration of IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ cytokines increased and peaked on day 12 and thereafter decreased to levels lower than 0. Out of all tested cytokines, the concentration of IL-6 was significantly higher, as early as day 2 PI. No significant changes were observed for the IgG levels during the course of disease. A significant and strong correlation was observed between IL-6, TNF-α and IFN-γ values and a moderate correlation between IL-6 and the numbers of lymphocytes in the present study. A strong correlation was determined between the percentage parasitaemia and haematological parameters in T. lestoquardi-infected sheep. In addition, preliminary results indicate that the measurement of the serum concentrations of IL-6 in combination with haematological parameters could be considered a good marker to estimate the pathogenicity of T. lestoquardi strain. <![CDATA[<b>Safety and immunogenicity of Rift Valley fever MP-12 and arMP-12</b><b>ΔNSm21/384 vaccine candidates in goats (<i>Capra aegagrus hircus</i>) from Tanzania</b>]]> Vaccination of domestic ruminants is considered to be an effective strategy for protecting these animals against Rift Valley fever (RVF), but available vaccines have limitations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the safety and immunogenicity of RVF virus (RVFV) mutagenesis passage 12 (MP-12) and arMP-12ΔNSm21/384 vaccine candidates in goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) in Tanzania. Goats were vaccinated intramuscularly with RVFV MP-12 or arMP-12ΔNSm21/384, and then on Day 87 post-vaccination (PV) all animals were revaccinated using the RVFV MP-12 vaccine candidate. Serum samples were collected from the animals before and after vaccination at various intervals to test for RVFV using a Vero cell culture assay and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and for RVFV-neutralising antibody using a plaque reduction neutralisation assay. Serum samples collected before vaccination on Days -14 and 0, and on Days 3, 4 and 5 PV were negative for RVFV and neutralising antibody. All animals remained healthy, and viremia was not detected in any of the animals. Rift Valley fever virus antibody was first detected on Day 5 PV at a 1:10 dilution in five of five animals vaccinated with the MP-12 vaccine and in five of eight animals vaccinated with arMP-12ΔNSm21/384. Titres then increased and were sustained at 1:40 to 1:640 through to Day 87 PV. All animals that were revaccinated on Day 87 PV with MP-12 developed antibody titres ranging from 1:160 to as high as 1:10 240 on Days 14 and 21 PV. Although the antibody titres for goats vaccinated with RVF MP-12 were slightly higher than titres elicited by the arMP-12ΔNSm21/384 vaccine, these findings demonstrated that both vaccines are promising candidates for the prevention of RVF among Tansanian goats. <![CDATA[<b>A field study on the efficacy of ivermectin via subcutaneous route against chewing lice (<i>Bovicola caprae</i>) infestation in naturally infested goats</b>]]> Caprine pediculosis is an ectoparasitic disease of great concern among goat farmers in India. It may be caused by either sucking lice or chewing lice; the latter one results in severe skin lesions, leading to production loss. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the macrocytic lactone drug, ivermectin, administered via subcutaneous injection, against chewing lice Bovicola (Damalinia) caprae infestation in naturally infested goats. The study was conducted on 20 goats with severe B. caprae infestation. Animals of group A (n = 10) were treated using a single dose of ivermectin (200 µg/kg body weight) subcutaneously and animals of group B (n = 10) underwent placebo therapy using normal saline. The animals were examined on days 0, 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, 42 and 56 for lice counts. There was 100% elimination of lice in all animals of group A and effective protection from re-infection remained at least for 21 days. Considerable improvement in haematological parameters was also observed by day 21. Based on this study, ivermectin injected via a subcutaneous route can be used effectively for the therapeutic and prophylactic management of chewing lice infestation in goats maintained under an extensive grazing system. <![CDATA[<b>Brucellosis knowledge, attitudes and practices of a South African communal cattle keeper group</b>]]> Brucellosis remains an animal and public health concern in South Africa, given the intensity and widespread distribution of outbreaks in cattle. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among cattle keepers in the Whittlesea community of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, which utilises communal grazing. Individual cattle keepers (N = 227) who attended prearranged meetings in selected villages were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) regarding bovine brucellosis. We compared KAP scores between previous brucellosis-affected villages and unaffected villages. We compared attitude and practices scores between those who had heard of brucellosis and those who had not and between those above the 75th percentile knowledge score and those below. The KAP for the study population were described using frequency tables. Scores of different groups were compared using the Welch t-test or the Wilcoxon rank-sum test. Knowledge scores of those who had heard of brucellosis (60%) showed a bimodal distribution with a 0/18 primary peak and 5-6/18 secondary peak. Attitude scores showed a median of 7/14 (interquartile range [IQR] 6-9), with 98% requesting more information on brucellosis. Practices scores showed a median of 6/18 (IQR 3-8), with high-risk practices identified that could facilitate brucellosis transmission. There were significant differences in attitude and practices scores between the groups above and below the 75th percentile knowledge score. The community showed poor knowledge, poor to average practices and average to good attitude. Identified high-risk practices highlight the risk of potential introduction and transmission of brucellosis between cattle and zoonotic transmission to humans. <![CDATA[<b>Sheep enteric cestodes and their influence on clinical indicators used in targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes</b>]]> Clinical indicators such as diarrhoea (DISCO) or anaemia (FAMACHA©) are used as a measure for targeted selective treatments against gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Enteric cestodes such as Moniezia may interfere directly with DISCO or indirectly with the FAMACHA© score. We investigated 821 Ouled Djellal rams naturally infected in a steppe environment (GIN alone, cestodes alone, GIN and cestodes) or not. The rams were treated with ivermectin 2 months before being slaughtered to reduce the impact of nematodes on the clinical scores; however, persistent or newly acquired GINs were not related to both scores. Of the non-infected rams (n = 296), 26% identified as needing treatment against GIN using the FAMACHA score, and 34.5% using DISCO would have been thus selected. This implies that the clinical indicators used for the targeted selective treatment of gastrointestinal nematodes are not fully reliable when a low infection is recorded and may well be influenced by confounding factors. As expected, only DISCO was affected by cestode infection, and we suggest that the presence of Moniezia should also be taken into consideration. <![CDATA[<b>Vitamin D status in dogs with babesiosis</b>]]> Canine babesiosis is a virulent infection of dogs in South Africa caused principally by Babesia rossi. Hypovitaminosis D has been reported in a wide range of infectious diseases in humans and dogs, and low vitamin D status has been associated with poor clinical outcomes. However, the relationship between vitamin D status and canine babesiosis has not been investigated. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between the presence and severity of B. rossi infection and vitamin D status of infected dogs. Owners with dogs with a confirmed diagnosis of B. rossi infection and of healthy control dogs were invited to enrol onto the study. Vitamin D status was assessed by measurement of serum concentrations of the major circulating vitamin D metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D). Dogs with babesiosis (n = 34) had significantly lower mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations than healthy dogs (n = 24) (37.76 ± 21.25 vs. 74.2 ± 20.28 nmol/L). The effect of babesiosis on serum 25(OH)D concentrations was still significant after adjusting for any effect of age, body weight and sex. There was a negative relationship between serum 25(OH)D concentrations and disease severity in dogs with babesiosis. Serum concentrations of creatinine and alanine aminotransferase and time to last meal were not associated with serum 25(OH)D concentrations in dogs with babesiosis. In conclusion, dogs with Babesia rossi infections had lower serum 25(OH)D concentrations than healthy dogs. The inverse correlation between 25(OH)D concentrations and the clinical severity score indicate that hypovitaminosis D might be a helpful additional indicator of disease severity. <![CDATA[<b>Peste des petits ruminants in Africa: Meta-analysis of the virus isolation in molecular epidemiology studies</b>]]> Peste des petits ruminant (PPR) is a highly contagious, infectious viral disease of small ruminant species which is caused by the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), the prototype member of the Morbillivirus genus in the Paramyxoviridae family. Peste des petits ruminant was first described in West Africa, where it has probably been endemic in sheep and goats since the emergence of the rinderpest pandemic and was always misdiagnosed with rinderpest in sheep and goats. Since its discovery PPR has had a major impact on sheep and goat breeders in Africa and has therefore been a key focus of research at the veterinary research institutes and university faculties of veterinary medicine in Africa. Several key discoveries were made at these institutions, including the isolation and propagation of African PPR virus isolates, notable amongst which was the Nigerian PPRV 75/1 that was used in the scientific study to understand the taxonomy, molecular dynamics, lineage differentiation of PPRV and the development of vaccine seeds for immunisation against PPR. African sheep and goat breeds including camels and wild ruminants are frequently infected, manifesting clinical signs of the disease, whereas cattle and pigs are asymptomatic but can seroconvert for PPR. The immunisation of susceptible sheep and goats remains the most effective and practical control measure against PPR. To carry out PPR vaccination in tropical African countries with a very high temperature, a thermostable vaccine using the rinderpest lyophilisation method to the attenuated Nigeria 75/1 PPR vaccine strain has been developed, which will greatly facilitate the delivery of vaccination in the control, prevention and global eradication of PPR. Apart from vaccination, other important questions that will contribute towards the control and prevention of PPR need to be answered, for example, to identify the period when a susceptible naïve animal becomes infectious when in contact with an infected animal and when an infectious animal becomes contagious. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence of gastrointestinal helminths and parasites in smallholder pigs reared in the central Free State Province</b>]]> Pigs are kept by farmers as a source of livelihood and food. Unfortunately, helminthiasis and other internal parasites are major setbacks to profitable pig production in Africa. There is a lack of information on the prevalence and intensity of gastrointestinal helminths and parasites plaguing resource-poor pig farmers in the Free State. Knowledge of these endemic parasites can be used as baseline data to help design future intervention plans. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify the types of gastrointestinal helminths and parasites prevalent in smallholder pigs reared in the central Free State Province. Faecal samples were randomly collected from 77 pigs and parasitologically analysed. Quantification was done using the McMaster counting technique. Farming system, age, gender and health status were the risk factors considered. The study was conducted between January and March 2016. Overall, results showed that 61 samples (79.2%) tested positive for one or more gastrointestinal parasites, which were observed as single or mixed infections. Amongst the positive samples, 44.5% were infected with Ascaris suum, 50.6% with Trichuris suis, 26.0% and 72.7% were infected with Oesophagostomum dentatum and coccidia, respectively. There were significant differences (p < 0.05) between the rate of infection in the intensive and semi-intensive systems and between the dewormed and non-dewormed pigs. Piglets and female pigs recorded a higher prevalence in their categories. Pigs excreted mostly low (eggs per gram [EPG] ≤ 100) to moderate (EPG &gt; 100 < 500) levels of helminth eggs. It is concluded that different species of gastrointestinal parasites are present in most pigs reared by smallholder farmers in this study area. <![CDATA[<b>Risk of establishment of canine leishmaniasis infection through the import of dogs into South Africa</b>]]> Canine leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania that affect dogs, humans and wildlife. Sandflies of the genera Phlebotomus and Lutzomyia are the primary vectors. Canine leishmaniasis is an exotic and controlled disease in South Africa. The main purpose of our risk assessment study was to evaluate the likelihood that this exotic disease could enter and be established in South Africa through importation of live dogs. Risk analysis to the spread of the disease follows the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) formal method of quantitative risk assessment documented as a step-by-step process. We have identified and discussed 11 possible risk factors involved in three steps for final assessment. The annual average number of diagnostic tests performed on imported dogs from 44 countries for 2011-2015 was 1158. Leishmania is reported to occur in 21/44 (47.7%) exporting countries. A total of 71.1% of Leishmania positive dogs were imported from these endemic countries. The yearly percentage of Leishmania positive dogs ranged from 0.2% to 2%. Three confirmed clinical and fatal cases of leishmaniasis in dogs of unidentified origin have been reported by our laboratory and the state veterinarians. The disease has been reported in neighbouring countries as well as the putative sandfly vectors. This study concluded that the risk for the introduction and degree of uncertainty of Leishmania in imported dogs in South Africa are moderate. Risk mitigation and recommendations such as investigations into possible occurrence of autochthonous leishmaniasis in the country, surveillance in its wildlife reservoirs and systematic surveillance of sandfly populations are discussed. <![CDATA[<b>Prevalence and risk factors associated with <i>Campylobacter</i> spp. occurrence in healthy dogs visiting four rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa</b>]]> Reports on the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in dogs in South Africa are non-existent. This study investigated the prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in 481 dogs visiting four rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa. Dogs were screened for Campylobacter spp. by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the association between sex, clinic, breed and age and the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in dogs. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. was 41.50% (95% confidence interval [CI], 37.39% - 46.04%). Campylobacter jejuni, C. upsaliensis and C. coli were detected in 29.31% (95% CI, 25.42% - 33.54%), 13.10% (95% CI, 10.37% - 16.42%) and 5.41% (95% CI, 3.71% - 7.82%) of dogs, respectively. Dogs carrying more than one species of Campylobacter spp. accounted for 6.23% (95% CI, 4.40% - 8.78%). Campylobacter upsaliensis and C. jejuni were detected in 3.74% (95% CI, 2.37% - 5.86%), whereas C. coli and C. jejuni were found in 2.49% (95% CI, 1.42% - 4.34%) of dogs. Age and clinic were the risk factors significantly associated with Campylobacter spp. occurrence, while age, breed and clinic were predictors of C. jejuni carriage. Furthermore, age was the only risk factor associated with a higher likelihood of carrying C. upsaliensis. The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. C. jejuni and C. upsaliensis increased significantly as dogs grew older. In addition, the odds of carrying Campylobacter spp. were higher in the Staffordshire bull terrier breed compared to crossbreed dogs. In conclusion, this study shows that dogs visiting rural community veterinary clinics in South Africa are reservoirs of Campylobacter spp. and may be potential sources of Campylobacter spp. for humans living in close proximity of the dog populations under study. <![CDATA[<b>The effects of extraction techniques and quantitative determination of oxalates in <i>Nerium oleander</i> and feeds</b>]]> Shrubs represent the most affordable and accessible form of feed that livestock can rely on to acquire both essential and non-essential elements of life. In addition to their inherent toxins, they contain endogenous substances commonly referred to as 'antinutritive factors' (ANFs) that often interfere with the utilisation of nutrients. Their abundance may lead to severe clinical trauma. Hence, the objective of the study was to investigate the effects of different extraction techniques on Nerium oleander L. and animal feeds as well as to quantify oxalates. Organic (hexane, acetone and methanol) sequential and aqueous (infusion and decoction) extractions were explored. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted to determine the presence of various phytochemicals and oxalate contents as putative ANFs, respectively. The results showed higher extraction yields of 22.6% and 43.1% in the decoction and infusion of N. oleander, respectively. The quantification methods were validated for linearity, accuracy and precision. Oxalate contents of 6.76 ± 0.245 (0.65%) mg/g and 5.74 ± 0.236 mg/g dry weight (0.55%) were obtained in N. oleander and feeds, respectively. This difference was statistically significant with p < 0.05. Percentage recoveries of 98.5 (percent relative standard deviation [% RSD] = 2.3), 85.7 (% RSD = 1.03) and 80.3 (% RSD = 1.22) at 76%, 95% and 112% fortifications were obtained, respectively. Relative standard deviation for precision was 0.99% and 1.13% at 0.33 mg and 0.39 mg fortifications, respectively, while reproducibility showed 2.21% RSD. Therefore, these methods can be used to provide a valuable basis for qualitative determination of ANFs, particularly in shrub foliage. <![CDATA[<b>African animal trypanosomosis (nagana) in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: Strategic treatment of cattle on a farm in endemic area</b>]]> African animal trypanosomosis (AAT) is caused by several species of the genus Trypanosoma, a parasitic protozoan infecting domestic and wild animals. One of the major effects of infection with pathogenic trypanosome is anaemia. Currently, the control policies for tsetse and trypanosomosis are less effective in South Africa. The only response was to block treat all infected herds and change the dip chemical to one which controls tsetse flies during severe outbreaks. This policy proved to be less effective as demonstrated by the current high level of trypanosome infections in cattle. Our objective was to study the impacts of AAT (nagana) on animal productivity by monitoring the health of cattle herds kept in tsetse and trypanosomosis endemic areas before and after an intervention that reduces the incidence of the disease. The study was conducted on a farm in northern KwaZulu-Natal which kept a commercial cattle herd. There was no history of any cattle treatment for trypanosome. All cattle were generally in poor health condition at the start of the study though the herd received regular anthelminthic treatment. A treatment strategy using two drugs, homidium bromide (ethidium) and homidium chloride (novidium), was implemented. Cattle were monitored regularly for 13 months for herd trypanosomosis prevalence (HP), herd average packed cell volume (H-PCV) and the percentage of the herd that was anaemic (HA). A total of six odour-baited H-traps were deployed where cattle grazed from January 2006 to August 2007 to monitor the tsetse population. Glossina brevipalpis Newstead and Glossina austeni Newstead were collected continuously for the entire study period. High trypanosomes HP (44%), low average H-PCV (29.5) and HA (24%) were rerecorded in the baseline survey. All cattle in the herd received their first treatment with ethidium bromide. Regular monthly sampling of cattle for the next 142 days showed a decline in HP of 2.2% - 2.8%. However, an HP of 20% was recorded by day 220 and the herd received the second treatment using novidium chloride. The HP dropped to 0.0% and HA to 0.0% by day 116 after the second treatment. The cow group was treated again by day 160 when the HP and HA were 27.3% and 11%, respectively. The same strategy was applied to the other two groups of weaners and the calves at the time when their HP reached 20%. Ethidium and novidium treatment protected cattle, that were under continuous tsetse and trypanosomosis challenge, for up to 6 months. Two to three treatments per year may be sufficient for extended protection. However, this strategy would need to be included into an integrated pest management approach combining vector control for it to be sustainable. <![CDATA[<b>Salmonellosis: Serotypes, prevalence and multi-drug resistant profiles of <i>Salmonella enterica</i> in selected poultry farms, Kwara State, North Central Nigeria</b>]]> Salmonellosis is a major threat facing the poultry industry globally. This study was conducted to investigate the level of Salmonella contaminations and determine the resistance pattern of isolates obtained from selected poultry farms in Kwara State, a transition state between southern and northern regions of Nigeria. A total of 900 samples were collected between January and August 2017, from the poultry environment, apparently including healthy and dead birds. Salmonella was isolated and identified using standard bacteriological methods. All presumptive Salmonella isolates were serotyped and tested for antimicrobial susceptibility using 11 different antimicrobials. A total of 58 (6.4%) Salmonella isolates were obtained, and the isolation rate was only statistically significant (p < 0.05) in live birds. The isolates comprised of 13 serovars. The three predominant serovars, Salmonella enterica ser. 6.7:d:- (29.0%), Salmonella Agama (28.0%) and Salmonella Typhimurium (16.0%), were isolated from all three sample types. Rare serovars like Salmonella Albany, Salmonella Colindale, Salmonella Istanbul, Salmonella Larochelle, Salmonella Nigeria and Salmonella Orion were also isolated in this study. A high frequency of resistance was generally observed with all the isolates exhibiting a total of (100%) resistance to ampicillin, cefotaxime and ceftazidime. This study documents the first predominant isolation of S. enterica ser. 6.7:d:- and S. Agama from chickens. It also documents the high frequency of fluoroquinolone and cephalosporins resistance of the isolates indicating the presence of selective pressure in the environment. Controls and targeted interventions against Salmonella and the frequent occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in chickens should be initiated to prevent the spread of this organism.